Kibathi, Sang crowned national junior cross country champions

Samuel Kibathi

Samuel Kibathi crosses the finishing line to win the Under-20 men's 8km race during the Lotto National Cross Country Championships at the Kenya Prisons Staff Training College, Ruiru, Kiambu on January 21, 2023. 

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kibathi, who finished second last year in Eldoret, had his act together this time around to win the men's 8 kilometre race in 23 minutes and 12.2 seconds
  • Sang clocked 19:43.8 to win women's 6km race, beating South Rift's duo of Miriam Chepkirui and Miriam Chemutai in 19:54.0 and 20:02.6 respectively

Japan-based Samuel Kibathi and Mercy Sang from the University of Nairobi are the winners of men and women's Under-20 National Lotto National Cross Country Championships. 

Kibathi, who finished second last year in Eldoret, had his act together this time around to win the men's 8 kilometre race in 23 minutes and 12.2 seconds at the Kenya Prisons Staff Training College, Ruiru, Kiambu on Saturday.

Kibathi took charge early sweeping the course to edge out Simeon Maiywa from North Rift to second place in 23:25.4.

Shadrack Rono from South Rift came third in 23:32.7 as Western's Kibet Ndiwa settled fourth in 23:34.8.
Johana Erot from North Rift and Nyanza South's Andrew Kiptoo clocked 23:40.4  and 23:49.4 for fifth and sixth places respectively. 

They all sealed their places for the invitational Sirikwa World Cross Country Gold Tour due for February 4 at Lobo Village, Eldoret. 

"It feels great to finally win though it wasn't easy especially at the muddy section," said Kibathi, who is a form three in student in Japan.

Kibathi said the event is part of his preparations for the Africa Athletics Under-20 Championships planned for April 19 to 23 this year in Lusaka, Zambia.

Sang clocked 19:43.8 to win women's 6km race, beating South Rift's duo of Miriam Chepkirui and Miriam Chemutai in 19:54.0 and 20:02.6 respectively. 

They also sealed their places for the Lobo event formerly known as Memorial Agnes Tirop Cross Country Championships.

Selected results 

Women

1.Mercy Sang (University) 19:43.8,

2.Miriam Chepkirui (South Rift) 19:54.0,

3.Miriam Chemutai (South RIFT) 20:02.6,

4.Yvonne Chepchirchir (Central) 20:13.6,

5.Maureen Chepkemoi (North Rift) 20:22.7,

6.Deborah Jemutai (Central Rift) 20:25.6.

Men

1.Samuel Kibathi(Japan) 23:12.2,

2.Simeon Maiywa (North Rift) 23:25.4,

3.Shadrack Rono (South Rift) 23:32.7,

4.Kibet Ndiwa (Western) 23:34.8,

5.Johana Erot (North Rift) 23:40.4,

6.Andrew Kiptoo (Nyanza South ) 23:49.4.

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